Journal Article Review: Abnormal Psychology
Journal Article Review Example
- Independent Variable – It is the environment surrounding each person in the first study. It is the only differentiating factor among various pseudo patients. Each one of them is placed in a different facility to study a diagnosis that they will be given.
- Dependent Variable – The research seeks to establish the ability of different members of the psychiatric staff to distinguish sanity from insanity. It involves doctors, nurses and various attendants.
- Control Group – These are pseudo patients, who are exposed to the same conditions as patients. It is because they are excluded from observing the treatment of the staff in relation to them. They are not really insane, and are placed in these institutions to determine the efficacy of diagnostic procedures administered to patients.
- Experimental Group - It includes patients, and the researcher wishes to understand how they are treated and establish whether their diagnoses are set without errors.
- Research Method – In this case, the researcher uses three methods to conduct the research study. The first part is based on the case study method, where he uses a number of case studies to develop a general idea of what he wishes to study. It provides a hypothesis, based on which the research is conducted. The second part of the research is the naturalistic observation. It is conducted through the use of pseudo patients, who take notes on what they observe in different facilities, to which they have been admitted. The final part involves the use of surveys. Doctors had been informed of incoming patients, and they were asked to provide suggestions relating to the fact who was insane or sane to their mind.
- Data Collection Technique – The method of data collection is based on two methods. There was the direct behavioral observation done by pseudo patients. The second method was the use of questionnaires inquiring about the respondents’ opinion on the level of sanity of admitted patients.
- Sample (size, breakdown, where were they found) – This was a group that consisted of eight members, three females and five males. It comprised a graduate psychology student, a housewife, and a painter, and the rest were established medical professionals.
- Population – are the findings generalizable to that population? – The population of this study are those, who have been diagnosed with one mental condition or another. It is in question whether the diagnoses that have been set are actually correct. In this case, the results of the study are not applicable to the overall population. The researcher points out that a diagnosis is largely dependent on the environment. For the specific case, there is the issue of minimized sample space to cover the entire population. There is also the second part of the research, where the researcher seeks to determine how many of those, who are mentally challenged, have been diagnosed otherwise. In this case, the environmental factor also skews the results.
- Hypothesis – In this case, the research seeks to establish how the environment can affect the efficacy of a diagnosis set by a trained medical professional. It is in cases of psychological conditions. There are two situations, which are presented to provide professionals with varying test environments. The first one is when there are sane subjects in an environment of the mentally challenged. The other is when there are insane subjects in a group, where some are assumed to be sane.
- Operational Hypothesis – There is a decrease in the number of false negatives (Type 1 error) in cases, when medical doctors believe that there is some form of sanity. There is also an increase in the number of false positives (Type 2 error) in cases, where they believe that patients are insane.
- Did they prove their hypothesis? Explain. – The hypothesis of the experiment is proven. In the first case, all but one of the pseudo patients was diagnosed with a form of mental disorder, even if all of them were not insane. On the other hand, there was a group of medical professionals, who diagnosed patients as being sane. It was in the case, when none of the pseudo patients had been included in these studies. It is in spite of those, who were actually insane doubting the actuality of insane conditions of the pseudo patients.
- Findings – The research managed to find out that in an inconclusive way, the sanity or insanity of a person cannot be judged accurately. There are a number of factors that play a critical role in skewing the prognosis. In this particular case, such factor was the environment.
- Extraneous Variables – These are the effects of conditions in the areas under study. The researcher chose to use different hospitals, those that were private care facilities, government-funded, in suburbs and rural areas. There are different forms of environmental factors that affect the choice of each one of those, who is working in any one of these facilities. It may play a critical role in determination, which largely affects the outcome of the research. The other extraneous variable is the level of experience of the ones beings studied. Even with efforts taken in trying to make it a level playing field, it should be understood that each doctor’s experience in the field varies. This variation plays a part in the prognosis that a doctor makes.
- Research Flaws – One flaw that may be identified in conducting the research is its reliance on systematic reviews of the previous literature on the subject. It has been reported as being the major cause of biases in researches conducted in many areas. It is what has been used in the development of the initial hypothesis in this study. It may have created a bias in conducting the research.
- What could have been done more efficiently? In the case of this study, there was the need to increase the level of interaction between pseudo patients and their handlers. The latter are doctors, attendants and other members of the staff. It would have provided for a more accurate measure of how patients and their handlers get to interact. It would have reduced their experience from a majorly observatory one to more first-hand. It would have eliminated some speculations that went on in the research. There is also the need to house more than one pseudo patient in a single facility. It will provide for a more accurate depiction, since it can reduce any biases that a single observer may have.
- Could the study be replicated? The study could be replicated to cater for different regional areas and environments. It is because there are various areas in the world that have facilities catering for those with various mental conditions. Numerous variations of how it can be done also exist. Those, who would be making an observation, may be limited to individuals with little or no medical background. It will enable the researcher to make determinations that are not medically related. One may also be able to increase the strength of the findings by choosing to use a larger sample group.
- Does more research need to be done? Explain. There is a need for a deeper research in the area. It is because in this specific study, the research starts from the point that can be biased in a way. It is for researcher’s reliance on the initial studies for the purpose of making a hypothesis. There is a need to approach the research in another direction to determine whether there is any deviation from the initial research done in the field. The next point of concern may be the fact that a large part of those involved in the study are professionals in the field, who may have been biased in relation to their conclusions in their own way. The sample size that has been chosen is also small. The sample space of eight subjects may not really be a fair representation of all those, who are affected.
- What directions should later research take in this area? In the study of the effect of the environment on a diagnosis, researchers should study doctors both in their usual and unusual environment. It in a way may be assumed to limit their bias in determining the ones, which they believe are insane and those, who are sane. The research may also be conducted taking into consideration doctors with different levels of experience. This part should be factored into the findings.
- Generalizability – Can the research be generalized to the entire population or a smaller group? The generalizability of the research may only be applied to a small group of individuals, who suffer from mental conditions, and not necessarily to the whole population in the sample space. There is also the fact that the sample size chosen by the researcher is too small to be a representation of the whole population.
- What did you think of the study design. (Be careful not to refer to yourself in the 1st person. Try to either state information as if it is fact OR use phrases like “In this writers opinion”) – The study design in this case is a qualitative one. The research seeks to establish a relationship between how people behave and what factors influence these decisions. It is in relation to their behavior towards those, which they believe are mentally challenged.
- What did you think of the findings. (Be careful not to refer to yourself in the 1st person. Try to either state information as if it is fact OR use phrases like “In this writers opinion”). In this case, the findings in this case show the difficulty that exists in determining the sanity of an individual. It is majorly caused by the environment that exists at that time.
- What might you have done different (Be careful not to refer to yourself in the 1st person. Try to either state information as if it is fact OR use phrases like “In this writers opinion”) - In conducting the research, the following opinion has been formed that there is the need for objectivity. It may be due to the fact that those, who are pseudo patients, may have exhibited some subjectivity in the opinions hold by them at the time of the research. It may have skewed the findings of the research to favor the hypothesis that has been made initially.
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